Complaints about automated calls up sharply

WASHINGTON (AP) - So much for silence from telemarketers.

Complaints to the government are up sharply about unwanted phone solicitations.

The biggest one is about those annoying prerecorded pitches, called robocalls. They hawk everything from lower credit card interest rates to new windows for your home.

Government figures show robocall complaints up about 225 percent since late 2010. The spike raises questions about how well the federal do-not-call list is working. That list bars telemarketers from calling the more than 209 million phone numbers on the registry.

The Federal Trade Commission says the registry is doing an effective job fighting unwanted sales calls. The FTC does acknowledge that robocalls have become a bigger problem in recent years. The calls are hard to trace because scammers use caller-ID spoofing to mask their phone number.

(Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)


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